Tuesday, 28 May 2024

The Ins and Outs of Camps, Combines, and Other Summer Events

Every year, student-athletes participate in a variety of summer events to enhance their skills and gain exposure to college coaches. These events, including camps, combines, tournaments, and showcases, can play a crucial role in the recruiting process. However, attending these events can be both costly and time-consuming, so it’s important to make them worth your while.

Breaking Down the Different Events

The events available for athletes to attend may vary by sport. In the case of volleyball, here are the main categories:

  • Camps: For younger athletes or those just starting high school, fundamental or skill-specific camps can be a great option. These camps focus on accelerating growth in specific skills and provide training from expert coaches. Older athletes who have already established contact with college programs should consider attending camps on a college campus. This allows for coaching from college coaches and the opportunity to visit the campus and meet academic advisors.

  • Showcases and Combines: These events are designed to test an athlete’s athleticism and skill level. They involve specific conditioning drills to assess speed, strength, and overall skill. Many showcases and combines also include position-specific court drills and gameplay. Some even have live-streaming capabilities.

  • Tournaments: Summer tournaments, such as the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships, provide opportunities to compete against top-level competition in front of college coaches. The summer season has fewer recruiting restrictions for college coaches, making it an ideal time to showcase your talent.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Beach Update: June Boom in International Events

Finding the right events that fit your budget and schedule is essential. NCSA’s (Next College Student Athlete) website offers a comprehensive list of volleyball camps, combines, and other events near you.

How do I choose a camp, showcase, or combine to attend?

While most events are open to anyone, it’s crucial to be selective about which ones you choose to attend. Your time and resources are limited, so it’s important to consider your abilities and goals.

By the time you’re ready to attend these events for recruiting purposes, you should have a list of target schools and establish contact with their coaches. Consult with the coaches and ask for their recommendations on which camps and combines to attend. This way, you’ll know in advance which schools will have a presence at the events. It’s disheartening to attend a camp hoping for evaluation from coaches who are not in attendance. Effective communication with college coaches throughout the process is key.

A volleyball recruiting tip: If you receive a camp invitation but are unable to attend, reach out to the coach, thank them for the opportunity, and politely let them know about your unavailability. You can try to arrange another time for them to watch you compete or send them your most recent highlight video for evaluation.

How do I get noticed or recruited at a camp?

Attending a camp or combine does not guarantee recruitment, as coaches take a holistic view when evaluating potential recruits. While there are instances of getting discovered at these events, it’s essential to put yourself in the best position to succeed.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Men's Update: Five Things About Matt Anderson

Ensure that the coaches you want to notice you will be present at the camp or combine. Be proactive by sending a quick email to the coaches, letting them know you will be attending their event and that you look forward to learning from them.

During the event, give it your all, and remember that coaches are evaluating more than just your skills. How you conduct yourself off the court, your attitude, and interactions with other attendees all matter. Learn about the coachable and uncoachable traits and demonstrate your coachability throughout.

Don’t forget the follow-up!

After attending an event, it’s important to maintain momentum by following up with college coaches. Send coaches an updated recruiting video and any new stats you have from the event. Update your recruiting profile and thank the coach for their time. Request feedback on which skills to focus on and continue working on.

What is the parent’s role at a camp or recruiting event?

Parents often play a crucial role in the recruiting process and attend these events to support their student-athlete. However, it’s important to be aware that coaches also evaluate parents during these events.

Here are some tips for parents on what to do and what not to do at recruiting events:

  • DO act like someone’s always watching: Be mindful of your behavior, whether you’re in line at the concession stand or sitting in the bleachers. Coaches observe not only the athlete but also their parents. Your behavior reflects on your athlete, so always maintain a positive and respectful attitude.

  • DON’T be a helicopter parent: Coaches dislike parents who appear to be overbearing or intrusive. Avoid coaching your athlete from the sidelines, complaining to or with other parents, or confronting coaches or officials about playing time or calls.

  • DO know the rules: Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations. Coaches sometimes need to adhere to NCAA contact rules, which may restrict their ability to interact with athletes and parents at certain times throughout the year.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  U.S. Women's Volleyball Team Faces Tough Loss to Dominican Republic

Remember that coaches are primarily recruiting the athlete, not the parent. However, a parent’s attitude and behavior can influence a coach’s perception of the athlete. Make a positive impression by conducting yourself in a respectful and supportive manner.

Whether you’re preparing for the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships or attending a summer camp, always present your best self. These events offer opportunities to showcase your skills and get recruited, but it’s crucial to be proactive, research programs, communicate with coaches, and follow up with gratitude.

For more information or to start a free volleyball recruiting profile with NCSA (Next College Student Athlete), visit the NCSA website.

About the Author: Sue Webber is a former college volleyball player for the University of Illinois and has experience coaching at the NAIA and Division I levels. She currently serves as the event partnership director for Next College Student Athlete, a partner of USA Volleyball, helping guide athletes through the college recruiting process.